• Tree that withstood Oso slide comes down

    By: Patranya Bhoolsuwan

    Updated:

    The tree that remained standing after a deadly mudslide in Oso was taken down Saturday.

    There was a solemn ceremony to say goodbye to the 100-foot-tall spruce along the White Horse Trail.

    According to Snohomish County officials, the tree's roots sustained a lot of damage from the landslide. 

    Over time, it would have been at risk of toppling over due to mud that became impacted underneath the tree.

    Ron Thompson was there with his wife Gail.

    “I came up every other day. I try to,” Thompson said.

    His home was among those destroyed during the Oso landslide in March 2014.

    He, his wife and his mother-in-law had just left their house to go to the store when mud and debris swallowed up their 5-acre property.

    The landslide killed 43 people and since then, this tree has become a memorial for those who perished that day.

    Oso resident Chad White helped in the landslide recovery effort and heads the team in charge of removing the tree.

    He said this job is bittersweet.

    “We don’t want to forget what happened,” White said. “And I don’t think we ever will.”

    The plan is to have part of the tree repurposed to be used as part of the permanent Oso Memorial and the families of the victims have said they wanted it here located along the White Horse Trail.


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